Tortellini Salad

This is another dish I make frequently when I’m in a hurry. There are no specific ingredients, just a description. I buy fresh tortellini, any flavor or size package, from the deli section of the grocery. Prepare it according the directions on the package. While that water is boiling, fry up about a pound of Italian sausage, either bulk or links. If using links, slice them once they’re cooked . . . or before cooking. The goal here is to try for pieces of vegetables and meat which are of the same size as the tortellini. Don’t ask me why, it just seems to be more pleasing to the eye. Once the sausage is cooked, remove to a large serving bowl. In the same frying pan as you cooked the sausage, heat olive oil and stir-fry onion, pepper (bell, Anaheim, whatever kind seems good to you), garlic, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, parsley, and/or cherry tomatoes (or chopped tomato flesh). Once the vegetables are sauteed appropriately, add them to the sausage in your big serving bowl. Once the tortellini is cooked, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Add tortellini to the bowl. Add a can of sliced black olives and a can of artichoke hearts (or cooked fresh or frozen). You don’t need to have all these ingredients all the time. Make a vinaigrette of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. When I made this dish the other night, unexpected visitors showed up and I couldn’t keep them out of the tortellini long enough to make the vinaigrette so I just splashed balsamic vinegar over the top and then drizzled olive oil over all, stirred it around and served it to rave reviews. It’s really not a fussy dish. Serve with garlic bread. You’ll be the toast of the neighborhood, or at least the toast of the house.

Cook 1# Italian sausage and place in large serving bowl.

Stir-fry in olive oil all, or some, of the following ingredients: zucchini, yellow squash, parsley, garlic, cherry (or chopped regular) tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, pepper (bell or Anaheim). Add a can of sliced black olives and artichoke hearts.

Add to the sausage in the serving bowl, along with cooked tortellini. Drizzle with a balsamic vinegar and olive oil vinaigrette. Stir. Serve. Tastes great with garlic bread.